Finally last year I started sewing on non-shank buttons by machine. I am not sure why it took me so long to get with the program. I use my darning foot, which for my Bernina is foot #9. However, it was always tricky for me to place the button where it needed to go and keep it there until I had the machine ready and the foot in place. Fortunately all that changed, and sewing on buttons with the machine got instantly easier with just one item.
That one item is Wonder Tape made by Dritz. It is double-sided tape that you can sew through and it is water-soluble. Since I bought my first roll of this....I have found several ways to use it. And this is still my first roll....so it lasts for quite awhile!
Tear off a small piece of tape and stick it onto the back side of your button.
Remove the piece of protective paper from the other side of the tape. Now you can position your button at the desired location on the fabric and then place it under the presser foot without concern that it will fall off. You can even shake your fabric around and it won't move.
Hold onto your thread tails so they do not end up a tangled mess underneath your fabric. Also check to make sure the needle goes into the holes correctly. I do this by manually advancing the needle by the handwheel....and generally closing my eyes. I figure if the needle hits the button and breaks in a zillion pieces....I don't want any of it going into my eyes. And I'm not quite ready to wear protective goggles when I sew. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! However, I really feel that I should add that I have never broken a needle sewing on a button, thus far.
After the stitch is complete....remove the fabric with attached button from the machine. Then thread both top threads through a needle and pull them to the back side of the fabric. Then tie the four threads together into one knot and trim the thread ends.
And then you are left with a perfectly placed button that did not wiggle around while you were attaching it. You are also left with a small spot of tape under the button. Depending upon what garment I have made....sometimes I soak the tape off with water and sometimes I gently lift the button up and pull on the tape to remove it. Either way....it works fantastic every time.
I also must add that I appreciate all the comments about the "proper" placement of buttonholes. I think most people feel like I do in that "does it really matter?" I just found it interesting that the lady who challenged me was so passionate about it that she was adamant to "correct" me. She actually told me she "would have to teach me better." Her exact words. Not mine. Needless to say, I'm pretty pleased with my sewing skills. Hmmm, I wonder if she knows about using Wonder Tape when sewing buttons on? Maybe I should stop by and "teach" her something new?